MasterClass Announces New Session on How to Draw and Paint Realistic Portraits

Devon Rodriguez for MasterClass

MasterClass, the streaming platform where anyone can learn from the world’s best across a wide range of subjects, today announced that artist Devon Rodriguez is joining Sessions by MasterClass, a structured, 30-day curriculum where members learn meaningful skills through hands-on experience, step-by-step demonstration and an engaged community. For members who are either new to painting or more experienced, Rodriguez will break down his creative process and share artistic techniques for visualizing and creating an oil portrait painting in 30 days. Enrollment for Rodriguez’s session is available starting today; the session goes live Sept. 2.

“Devon’s hyperrealistic drawings of everyday people made him one of the most viewed artists of our era,” said David Rogier, founder and CEO of MasterClass. “In his session, Devon will demonstrate how he’s progressed in art to showcase how anyone can learn to paint. Devon will teach members—whether beginner, intermediate or advanced artists—how to use his techniques to create portraits they are proud of.”

In his session, Rodriguez will take members from sketch conception to final product while sharing the painting techniques he’s developed over the course of his creative journey. Members will leave the session with their own 9-by-12-inch oil portrait painting, guided by Rodriguez’s step-by-step approach and empowered by a community of peers over the course of 30 days. The session is broken down into seven sections:

  • Starting Your Process: Rodriguez will share his artistic journey and inspire members to start their own, helping them build their supply kit and choose the photo that they will draw and paint throughout the session.
  • Portrait Drawing: Members will learn how Rodriguez approaches the sketching phase of his portraits, breaking down two methods—charcoal tracing and grid line drawing.
  • Color Mixing: Rodriguez will guide members through the fundamental nuances of the color wheel, as they practice mixing primary, secondary and complimentary colors. During this section, members will build upon their portrait using these new techniques.
  • Painting Eyes, Hair and Shadows: Members will continue developing their portraits by applying Rodriguez’s tips for painting realistic eyes, hair and shadows. He will also discuss his foundational technique—painting alla prima to create a mosaic-look to the piece.
  • Painting the Lips, Nose and Ears: Rodriguez will demonstrate how to fill in key facial feature details, guiding members through painting the lips, blending in the nose and adding depth to the ears.
  • Painting the Neck, Shirt and Background: Members will complete their portraits using Rodriguez’s approach to painting the neck, shoulders and background.
  • Conclusion: Rodriguez will teach members how to apply the finishing touches to their portraits, giving a step-by-step overview of how to protect their art through his varnishing techniques. He will also provide insight into how members can market their art while continuing to pursue their creative passions.

“Throughout my life, art has gotten me through some tough moments and allowed me to find my own unique voice,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve learned firsthand that anyone, regardless of education or skill level, has the potential to create something beautiful. I’m excited to teach this session on MasterClass and help unlock the inner artist that’s within all of us.”

Rodriguez is an artist and painter from the South Bronx, graduating from the High School of Art and Design before attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. He quickly gained recognition for painting hyperrealistic portraits of people on the New York City Subway system and was named a finalist in the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition in 2019. His art has appeared in The New Yorker, The Artist’s Magazine and T: The New York Times Style Magazine. In 2020, Rodriguez joined TikTok and is now the most followed visual artist on the platform.

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